Hike, bike, ride, fall, repair

Published 12:00 pm Monday, April 3, 2023

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We live in one of the most beautiful and activity-rich areas in America. Polk County and the surrounding region have abundant hiking and biking trails. We have some of the best fly fishing in the country, and with FENCE and TIEC, we are equestrian central. But, as with any active community, injuries will happen. And if you experience musculoskeletal injury, St. Luke’s Orthopedic and Sports Medicine is here to get you back on the trails, bike, or saddle as soon as possible.

If there’s a joint, tendon, ligament, cartilage, and muscle interaction, you can potentially experience an injury. And with this kind of pain, it’s not uncommon that compensation for unchecked joint pain will aggravate another. Cartilage worn down to bone-on-bone, a ligament torn from blunt impact, or a tendon sprained from an awkward slip. Chronic pain becomes debilitating and life-changing when it reaches a given threshold.

You’ve been enduring chronic pain, and it’s getting worse. And your doctor recommends surgery, but you’re hesitant about it. St. Luke’s Orthopedic & Sports Medicine has two 5-star, world-class orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Thomas Cadier and Dr. George Azar. Both doctors are graduates of accredited medical schools, have completed residencies in orthopedic surgery, and are certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery.

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Dr. Cadier is a Stritch School of Medicine graduate of Loyola University Medical School and did his residency at Emory University. He practices general orthopedics, including joint reconstruction and sports medicine, focusing on equestrian athletes.

Dr. Azar graduated from Massachusetts Medical School and completed his New York Medical College residency. Dr. Azar practices joint replacements of the knee and shoulder. He is also proficient in both anterior and posterior hip replacement. Accomplished in sports medicine, Dr. Azar is talented at ligament repair and rotator cuff repair. In addition, Dr. Azar is fundamental to developing our athletic training program at Polk County High School.

Both doctors use nonsurgical and surgical methods to treat musculoskeletal issues that may be present from birth or, more likely, caused by injury or age-related wear. And while we are planning an expansion of our specialties, our current offerings include the following:

• Fracture care
• Hand surgery
• Ligament repair
• Sports medicine
• Rotator cuff repair
• Anterior hip replacement
• Knee replacement
• Shoulder replacement

What to Expect? A patient at St. Luke’s Orthopedic will first experience a thorough examination to determine an accurate diagnosis. Next, you’ll be asked about symptoms and medical history, followed by a physical exam and imaging diagnostics that may include X-rays, MRI, and CT scanning. Ultrasound, nerve conduction studies, and blood work may also be part of the routine. Be sure that you will get to know your surgeon well.

The severity of the injury determines the treatment. Less invasive treatments may include the delivery of injections like corticosteroids to relieve inflammation. Acute injuries, like fractures and dislocations, require the doctor to manipulate the bone or joint and immobilize it using a brace, splint or cast. More complex injuries require surgery to repair the damage.

Both Dr. Azar and Dr. Cadier practice minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery to diagnose and repair joint issues. The arthroscope is a long, thin video camera inserted into knee and shoulder joints to repair the tears of the meniscus, ACL, and rotator cuff. The arthroscope is the most common type of orthopedic knee surgery in America.

One of the most common elective surgeries in the United States is total joint replacement. TJR replaces damaged and worn-out joints. At St. Luke’s Orthopedic, we routinely provide some of the best hip (anterior and posterior), knee, and shoulder total joint replacements, with patient experience scores thirteen percent higher than the national average.

Our orthopedists work as part of a team that may include physician assistants, nurse practitioners, athletic trainers, and occupational or physical therapists. Our Rehabilitation Center is a top-notch, 5,500-square-foot facility boasts one-on-one interaction with licensed physical, occupational, and hand therapists. St. Luke’s Orthopedic & Sports Medicine doctors have undergone extensive training to obtain medical licenses and participate in regular continuing education. Rest assured, you’re in excellent hands with two of the most talented orthopedic surgeons in the country.

And for some exciting news, our orthopedic wing reopens on April 19, 2023!

So, if faced with a musculoskeletal injury, have your provider refer you to Dr. Azar or Dr. Cadier at (828) 894-3718. They are two of the best orthopedic surgeons you will find anywhere, and the patient care is second to none. To learn more, visit StLukesNC.org/ortho.